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The Chronicles of Comcast: Net Neutrality War Rages On

April 8th, 2008 by Dean Jansen

On April 17th (Thursday of next week), the second public FCC hearing on net neutrality is slated to take place at Stanford University. In the mean time, read up on the Chronicles of Comcast.

8/17/07 Comcast throttles and blocks bittorrent traffic, claims TorrentFreak:

ISPs have been throttling BitTorrent traffic for almost two years now. Most ISPs simply limit the available bandwidth for BitTorrent traffic, but Comcast takes it one step further, and prevents their customers from seeding.

8/21/07 Comcast denies allegations of throttling, as reported by CNET:

Comcast on Tuesday denied rumors that the company is filtering BitTorrent traffic running over its network.

10/19/07 AP tests confirm that Comcast does block traffic, as reported by the AP:

Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally.


11/28/08 Test results are corroborated by the EFF.

2/25/08 FCC hearing on net neutrality in Boston, coordinated by Free Press.

2/26/08 Comcast pays to fill seats at FCC hearing, as reported by us:

Yesterday’s public FCC hearing on net neutrality was so packed that many activists, concerned citizens, and reporters were turned away at the door. It turns out that Comcast secretly paid people to “hold seats.”

3/27/08 Comcast and BitTorrent Inc. make a deal, as reported by Fortune:

Something remarkable happened on Thursday – an Internet service provider and a peer-to-peer software company announced a collaboration and agreed to work together.

3/27/08 BitTorrent/Comcast deal is no substitute for net neutrality, says Free Press:

This agreement does nothing to protect the many other peer-to-peer companies from blocking, nor does it protect future innovative applications and services. Finally, it does nothing to prevent other phone and cable companies from blocking… The Internet has always been a level playing field, and we need to keep it that way.

3/28/08 Comcast denies any wrongdoing, as reported by Ars Technica:

Each paragraph of [Comcast Vice President, Dan Cohen's] response to [the FCC Chariman, Kevin Martin] opened with, “Contrary to your press statement…” Comcast has not “‘admitted’ anything,” Cohen insisted. The company has provided a “full and honest accounting” of its network management practices.

If you’re anywhere near Stanford on April 17th, I urge you to go and show your support. Just be sure to show up early or your spot may be taken by one of Comcast’s human seat warmers!

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